The superdome next door had been the site of a huge two day long "super love" event, with massages and seminars and other things off limits to men.
It was all part of V-Day in celebration of "The Vagina Monologues" tenth anniversary.
Here's a clip from Today with Jane and Eve explaining, "so why New Orleans?"
(She kind of has a point.)
Anyway, we arrived to find huge tour buses full of women. The parking garage was filled with license plates from all over the US. It was a fairly diverse crowd: a number of straight women, busloads of lesbians, a few straight men with girlfriends, and a number of young gay men.
On the way in crossing the street, two straight women ahead of us were singing from sheer happiness, thanking the police for "protecting" them.
Inside, it wasn't all pink loveliness, however.
The women were getting a little rowdy. The Arena is our basketball stadium, and with the lines at the concession stands it looked like nothing less than a ball game. The mood was oddly similar. I was half expecting them to be selling big foam vaginas to wave in the crowd.
I bought a foot long hot dog, just so I could say I'd eaten a foot long hot dog at the Vagina Monologues.
It just seemed like the right thing to do, you know.
While in the bathroom, I heard a giggling butch voice, "Are there any men in there?" I didn't answer. "We're taking over this bathroom!"
The giggling intensified, joined now with others. The Revolution had begun. Soon there was a line in the men's bathroom of the overflow from the women's room. I had to pass a procession of giggling lesbians on my way out of the bathroom. I'm surprised I wasn't heckled.
The play itself was good. I'd never seen it before, so I had only a vague idea of what it would be like. There were parts that were moving, funny, and just plain eye rollingly cheesy.
The chief draw scheduled was to be Oprah, of course, (who didn't show "due to an illness" and Salma Hayak whom I think I may have just missed while in the bathroom, who knows.) I really didn't care about Oprah anyway.
A few random thoughts about the performance:Here are some pictures. I tried to capture the scrolling lcd lights spelling out "cunt" along the perimeter of the arena, during the "Cunt" section of the play, but it didn't quite come out. This was the weakest section, I thought, since three fourths was done in Spanish and some still unregocnizable language. Oddly pc for an a monologue about not being pc.
1. I have students who can perform better than Jennifer Hudson. Maybe she was nervous, but she practically read from her cards. She should have just sung.
2.Jane Fonda is a dynamo...and a pro. No cards for her. I could see the stage and where she was sitting when she was not performing. she was beating the stage with her fists.
3.I'm suddenly intrigued with Calpernia Addams
4.Kerry Washington is a much better actress than any of the other high school actresses I've seen performing her monologue on youtube.
5.Rosario Dawson is much more beautiful in person than on screen. She was also wearing some ridiculous Marc Jacobs shoes.
6.I have a crush on Jennifer Beals. (a crowd favorite, needless to say)
7.Didi Conn looks fantastic for her age, and no one remembers her. Though one of the women behind me squealed, "It's Frenchy from 'Grease!'"
8.Christine Lahti does not look good.
9.Liz Mikel (I'd never heard of her before) should be a star.
This was the view from my seat. We were very high up, but only a few feet away from a huge screen. Actually, the photo makes it look further away than it was. I was staring straight into the vagina logo.
Jane Fonda, not using a single notecard. This, Jennifer Hudson, is how a *professional* does it.